After much thought, my vote for favorite boat goes to "Running Tide". She was (is) an S&S design (68 ft as I recall) built by Jakob Isbrandtsen and later sold to Al Van Meter of Annapolis. I sailed on her when Al owned her and did one SORC and a Miami-Montego Bay Race. I didn’t make many sails for her-just a few chutes.
"Running Tide" did everything well but she went to windward like a scalded cat. Two of the long races (St. Pete-Ft Lauderdale & the Jamaica Race) were beats most of the way with a good breeze (20-25). Driving her upwind was so much fun that I never wanted to let go of the wheel!
However, when I did let go to head below, there was another treat in store. Most boats in those conditions were awful below-hot-wet-no ventilation. Not so "Running Tide". She was wide open, had comfortable sea bunks and special bulwarks around her hatches (she had a flush deck) that kept water out but let air in. While guys on other boats were sweating all night, on "Running Tide", you needed a blanket when you slept. A rare treat in the Caribbean!
Funny that I would remember something like that about a boat but it is a testimony to her designer and original owner, both of whom knew what a good boat should be like.
Charles "Butch" Ulmer